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August 14, 1994|CHARLES SOLOMON

LOS ANGELES: An Architectural Guide by David Gebhard & Robert Winter (Gibbs-Smith: $21.95; 486 pp., illustrated, paperback original). This thorough guide covers a broad spectrum of styles, from turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts offices to '90s condo complexes. The authors' balanced view of the eclectic architecture of Southern California offers a welcome change from the standard collections of superlatives. Gebhard and Winter praise MOCA as "unquestionably one of the most beautiful buildings erected in Los Angeles in the past four or five decades," but note that its layout "seems at times a bit strange;" they complain that the over-scaled Robert O. Anderson building at LACMA feels like "an upscale shopping mall." A handy reference to have in the glove compartment when out of town friends visit.

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